Tesla gives back free, unlimited lifetime Supercharging to all Model S & X owners through May 19th
In a move that caught everyone off guard, Tesla has retroactively given all of its existing Model S and Model X owners unlimited free Supercharging, including those who had been switched to the new paid-subscription service.
Previously, all those who purchased a new Tesla (after January 15th) were switched from the original unlimited use-for-life Supercharging program, to one that limited the "free" portion of charging to the first 400 kWh per year, after which fees were introduced.
New Tesla owners (via the current referral program) can also get free, unlimited charging through the end of 2017
The decision to make the change seems to be connected to a new referral program announced at the same time:
Starting May 19, 2017, Tesla owners can give five friends free unlimited Supercharging and a $1,000 credit toward a new Model S or Model X with their personal referral code.
Obviously the program would kinda suck (technical term) if a current Model S or X owner, without lifetime unlimited Supercharging, referred "a friend" who then got the bonus.
Basically this means anyone who had purchased a new Tesla this year, got a special bonus today. Better still, with the current referral program rewards program being good through the end of 2017, it looks like future owners will also have the bonus available long term.
...and yes, Tesla was very careful to stipulate that it only applies to the Model S and Model X, so new unlimited use bonus for future Model 3 owners. "Model 3 orders are not eligible"
We should note that the new program changes the terms of what unlimited charging means to recently upgraded (and future) owners, as Tesla's disclaimer notes that upon re-sale, the free Supercharging does not transfer to the new owner.
You have free, unlimited Supercharging, including your current Tesla and any new Model S or Model X you purchase. If you choose to sell your current Tesla, free Supercharging will not transfer to the next owner. Also, up to five friends you refer will also receive free Supercharging. Any Supercharging payments made have been automatically refunded. Read our Supercharging terms."
Tesla also send out a statement on the changes:
“We heard from our customers that free, unlimited Supercharging was one of their favorite reasons to refer a friend to buy a Tesla, so we’re bringing it back for Model S and Model X owners through our referral program, which we update periodically. Beginning today, existing owners can give free, unlimited Supercharging to up to five friends by sharing their referral code, and all existing Tesla owners who purchase a new Model S or Model X will receive free, unlimited Supercharging too.”
As for the last part of the statement above (which is in bold), there has been some confusion as to its meaning. The nutshell is - if you are a current Model S/X owner, any future Model S/X purchases will have unlimited Supercharging included (no deadline or referral needed).
Bonus (video below): Enjoy YouTuber DÆrik discovering the new Supercharging changes (and new referral program) being released in real time over the past 24 hours. Clearly all those previously without free unlimited Supercharging are quite pleased with the development